Saturday 30 September 2023

Chinese tourists will be able to travel in groups to 70 countries, including Costa Rica

China unleashing a tourism invasion by opening up its doors for an exodus of huge tour groups, updating list of outbound tour group destinations

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QCOSTARICA – The government of the People’s Republic of China authorized tourists to travel in groups to 70 other countries, including Costa Rica.

Travelers walk past an installation in the shape of five stars, at Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, China April 24, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/file photo

This is one of the latest of the Covid-19 related measures being lifted by Chinese authorities.

Those restrictions began to be lifted late last year, but the government has been hesitant to resume issuing passports and allowing in foreign tourists, as well as giving its citizens the ability to travel abroad.

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The expanded options for travel began last Thursday, August 7, 2023.

In 2019, 160 million Chinese nationals traveled internationally, though only 16,000 visited Costa Rica, likely due to a lack of air connectivity, insufficient tourist promotion in China, and visa requirements for Chinese citizens.

Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves recently said that his government is very interested in the country receiving more Chinese visitors.

Chinese tourists have a profile of great purchasing power, generally travel in groups organized by agencies, and known for spending lavishly on hotels, tours, souvenirs and designer brands.

List of countries included in China’s outbound group tour scheme

The first batch approved in January included 20 countries such as Thailand, Russia, Cuba and Argentina.

The second batch in March included 40 countries, among them Nepal, France, Portugal and Brazil. China has never explained its staggered approach to approvals.

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Full list of destinations in phase three:

Asia: Oman, Pakistan, Bahrain, South Korea, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Japan, Türkiye, Israel, India

Africa: Algeria, Ethiopia, Benin, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Seychelles, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tunisia

Europe: Ireland, Estonia, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Romania, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Sweden, Cyprus, Slovakia, United Kingdom

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North America: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Costa Rica, United States, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica

South America: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela

Oceania: Australia, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, French Polynesia, French New Caledonia

 

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